I shoplifted $75 from JC penney and got caught. It was my first offense. I was issued a civil demand letter and the cops were called. The cop gave me a criminal citation and I will be getting my court date in the mail. What will happen in court?
1 Answer from Attorneys
"What will happen in court?" If you plead guilty or are found guilty of the criminal law charge, the judge can sentence you up to the maximum of 364 days in jail, $5000 in fines, and probation.
If this is your first offense, there may be ways to work with the prosecutor so that eventually the criminal law charge is dismissed against you. However, while the deal may not require that you serve any time in jail, you likely will have to pay fines, attend classes, do community service, and be on probation.
Your attorney may find weakness in the city's case against you and get the entire case dismissed.
You should not pay the civil demand until you talk with your attorney. You may be able to work out a compromise of misdemeanor with the store that result in the criminal law charge against you being dismissed in exchange for paying the store.
You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.
If you are low income, you can apply for a public defender at the court hearing your case.
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